The Knoxville School Board voted 4-0 on Monday, October 22nd to join the South Central Conference. The board will send an application to the Superintendents of the South Central Conference. The application must be approved by two-thirds of the conferences members. Approval of the application is highly likely since the SCC invited the Panthers to join their conference.
The board held a public hearing on the change in conference affiliation at their last meeting. Almost all who spoke were in favor of making the switch. The board had sought further input at last nights meeting, but nobody from the community showed up to speak on either side of the issue.
The reason that the district is making the change is because of declining enrollment. Knoxville had well over 2100 students during the 2001-2002 school year. The 2012-2013 enrollment is 1819. Short term projections show that Knoxville’s enrollment will fall to 1750 or lower. Many of the current Little Hawkeye schools have seen growth in their enrollment.
Athletic Director Randy Wilson submitted a recommendation to the board that the district make the switch to the SCC. Nearly all of the varsity coaches have spoken in favor of making the switch. Wilson said that his plan is to continue to schedule the Little Hawkeye Schools on a non-conference basis.
Members of the South Central Conference include Albia, Chariton, Centerville, Clarke of Osceola, Eddyville-Blakesburg, and Davis County. Knoxville would join the conference in the fall of 2014 if approved.